A little over a year ago, Xiaomi launched a dirt cheap fitness tracker, the Mi Band and it has managed to boom past over 6 million worldwide shipments. It’s that time of the year again, when Xiaomi is expected to deliver a worthy successor to its no-nonsense fitness tracker. Meanwhile, we’ve jotted a few things to expect from the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 and how it can succeed like it’s predecessor.
Remember to set aside unrealistic Mi Band 2 Expectations
It might be exciting to expect all kinds of features from the Mi band 2, but then, you’d be missing a point. Xiaomi never released the Mi Band as an alternative to those expensive fitness trackers in the market. It was aimed at the audience looking for causal ways to track their workout sessions. So, it’s pretty much expected that the Mi Band 2 will be an affordable package, but that doesn’t mean it has to be all barebones. Here are our Xiaomi Mi Band 2 expectations:
1. To Display Or To Battery Is The Question
At a mere $13, the exclusion of a display in the original Mi Band felt like a forgivable omission. Then, Micromax, a local Indian OEM stepped up the game by launching Micromax YUFit at the same price, but with a display and undoubtedly more feature packed app. I can’t see any reason why anyone would choose the Mi Band over YUFit, unless battery is a priority.
I bet this is Xiaomi’s dilemma right now: Whether to include a display and compromise its 30-day battery life or go with the good old ‘I don’t need a display, moar battery please’.
I think the best solution to this is to launch the Mi Band 2 in a couple of variants — with and without a display. This makes sure you do not miss behind any enthusiast. After all, we are seeing the multiple variants formula in more wearables these days, aren’t we? Looking at you, Second-gen Moto 360.
2. Software Additions
Being cheap doesn’t mean you have to strip down on features. Two of the features — found in top-end models of Jawbone and Fitbit professional activity trackers are quite practically possible on Mi band. In fact, it’s possible that some features can be added on top of the original Mi Band via just software additions without needing any extra hardware.
For instance, Xiaomi can add step counter to calculate the amount to steps climbed on a floor and eventually, floors climbed. They can go further by inactivity notifier — that is, notify us If we’ve been sitting idle for X amount of time.
Calorie Intake/Food logging is another important feature Xiaomi must incorporate. I use *must* because heck, the above mentioned Micromax YUFit does it at the same affordable price.
Whilst doing so, I hope that Xiaomi improves in the department of accuracy. I’ve seen the Mi Band go berserk while riding on a vehicle or sometimes even sleeping. These simple activities spike up my step counters and often I end up walking 20 to 25 Kms according to the Mi Band.
3. Hardware Addition — Heartbeat Sensor. And GPS. Not.
Although there aren’t any substantial rumours about Mi Band 2 hardware additions as of now, inclusion of a heartbeat sensor should be a great addition to Xiaomi’s defence arena against other competitors. A heartbeat sensor would marginally increase its price, but it could still fall in the affordable party.
I’d instantly deny the possibility of a GPS equipped Mi Band 2, unless Xiaomi wants to sell it for a premium price.
4. More Powerful LEDs and Vibration Motor
I would prefer to call this natural and expected evolution. Paint an analogy with phones. I mean, it’s expected that every phone’s successor would boast more resolution, a faster clocked processor and may be even more RAM.
Coming back to Mi Band, the LED are decently bright for indoors, but you begin to realise that it’s almost impossible to see them outdoors in a pleasant weather, let alone under direct sunlight. Similarly, when you’re riding, its easy to miss a notification due to the low intensity of the vibration motor. And who knows, a more powerful vibration motor my even help some portion of (lone) people. No offence. 😉
Any Words On Design changes?
The possibility of Xiaomi doing a visual redesign of the Mi Band seems alien to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next generation looks almost identical to its predecessor. The Mi band isn’t much of a fashion accessory, but it doesn’t look that bad, per se. I bet that while the Mi Band 2 isn’t going to up the dopamine of fashion nerds, it wouldn’t likely disappoint either, with the tried and tested originals’ design.
Anyways, the truth is that the Chinese giant will have to first catch-up with Micromax YUFit when it comes to features. Once it does that, it can add the above features to its second generation Mi Band. It’s great to see healthy competition even in the low-price segment of the market as the real winner is the consumer.
What are your Xiaomi Mi Band 2 expectations?